Home inspection saves an Austin couple from buying a money pit
It's often the least exciting but most crucial part of buying a new home.
You've found a home you like. You've placed an offer on the home. The seller has accepted the offer.
But before you pop the cork on a bottle of champagne, you have to enter the dreaded home inspection, which can feel like a needless hurdle in the otherwise fun adventure of buying a home.
For a Texas couple, a recent inspection proved critical to their Austin home buying process, though.
Earlier this year, Keith and and Debbie Finley found a house that they were ready to buy. There was only one problem, though: Its floors didn't look level.
The 1930s house was old, they told themselves, as they began to rationalize a possible purchase. They wanted the house, but they were also doing their best to do due diligence.
"We had expected that the foundation repair company that seller had hired … would [create] a level foundation," Keith says. "However, when we had the house inspected and reinspected, the floors were still not level.
On each subsequent visit to the house, the Finleys discovered more cracks in the walls: a sign of continued foundation movement. Also problematic were the doors and dining room cabinets that would not open or shut properly. Beneath the house, proper support was lacking, and there appeared to be plumbing leaks.
The Finleys were under contract on the house, meaning that they were at the point in the buying process where the seller had to put up or shut up. In the contract for the house, the Finleys were careful to detail the problems they wanted the seller to address.
The Finley's inspector, whom they reviewed on Angie's List, ultimately saved them from buying a money pit.
He showed them a geological map of Austin, "explaining that although most areas of Austin are built on clay, the house where we were looking to buy was built on Del Rio clay, a problematic area for a house or anything that you would like to stand still," Keith says.
Thanks to the inspector's advice, the Finleys passed.
"The repairs weren't done in the agreed-to time," Keith says. "The purchase of a house is a huge personal investment. Having a thorough inspection done on a property is crucial, prior to taking ownership. Even more crucial is finding the right inspector.”